I have seem all of the Disney Nature films and they all are good. Mostly Earth which I thought should’ve at least been a contender. What are your thoughts?
Great point. I loved Earth- it was the last film I saw in the theater with my Grandmother before she passed away, and we had such a great experience viewing it. Shame it didn’t get any attention.
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Disney nature films have actually won at least six documentary feature and short Oscars, although none recently.
I meant the full length features.
Disney won best doc feature for The Living Desert, The Vanishing Prairie and White Wilderness, which were pretty much the films that invented the genre (all released theatrically as stand-alone attractions).
To go to the heart of your question, the Oscar doc committee favors films that tackle big issues, usually involving controversy, and/or tell stories about people. Also, since these films, good as the were, did often define “documentary” to a significant extent in the childhoods of those who now make docs, there might be some tendency to discount the current ones or to compare them unfavorably to those they saw decades ago.